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News Archive 2014

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Report Launch:
Facing Debt: Economic Resilience in Newham

On 18th July 2014 the final report was launched from a year long research project conducted by the London School of Economics for the London Borough of Newham into the impact of debt and the experience of life on a low income.

 

The rising cost of living, stagnant wages and welfare reform have placed many households under increased financial strain. This report, commissioned by the London Borough of Newham and written independently by Professor Anne Power, offers a powerful insight into the lives of some of the hardest pressed people in our country. This research highlights the struggle of both working and non-working households and explores the relationship between financial planning and skills and attitudes to credit and debt. The report also provides a valuable insight into the real impact of welfare reforms and helps to inform Newham’s ongoing work to strengthen resilience.

 

A panel discussion was held with Polly Toynbee (Guardian), Vidhya Alakeson (Resolution Foundation), Professor Anne Power (LSE) and Sir Robin Wales (Mayor of Newham). The discussion considered the drivers and solutions to increasing levels of personal debt and what can be done locally, nationally and within the community to build economic resilience. The London Borough of Newham also outlined its plans to respond to the analysis in the report.  

The full report is available here (pdf). An audio recording of the launch event is also available.

Watch an interview with a Newham resident who took part in the research.


News Posted: 18 July 2014      [Back to the Top]

Housing Plus
Think Tank 6: Supporting tenants into work

Housing Plus Think Tank 6: Supporting tenants into work

Housing Plus is about social landlords adopting a wider role in communities where they are based. The bedroom tax, benefit caps and other welfare reforms are having a dramatic impact on the lives of social housing tenants.

This workshop will explore why the problem of work now dominates, why public opinion has become hostile to supporting the unemployed, why social landlords need their tenants to work, and how they can achieve this.  By bringing together social landlords from all over the country who are trying out new ideas or are anxious to uncover more good ideas, we hope to uncover some solutions. Read the Think Tank summary and programme here and fill out the registration form here.


News Posted: 03 July 2014      [Back to the Top]

LSE and BBC Radio 4 Public Debate
Housing: where will we all live?

Date: Monday 9 June 2014 
Time: 6.30-8pm 
Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building
Speakers: Professor Paul Cheshire, Rachel Fisher and others to be announced
Chair: Mark Easton

The governor of the Bank of England recently warned that the overheated housing market represents the "biggest risk" to the country’s long-term recovery.

Mark Carney said rising property prices and the subsequent increase in large-value mortgages, could lead to a "debt overhang" capable of destabilising the economy. He spoke of "deep, deep structural problems" in the market, with demand for homes outstripping supply. In his native Canada, there are half as many people yet twice as many houses are built there every year as in the UK. On average over the past four years fewer market houses have been built than at any time since WW2.

BBC Home Affairs editor Mark Easton asks this expert panel, including LSE’s Paul Cheshire and Rachel Fisher of the National Housing Federation, why this country has failed to build enough affordable homes and looks at what can be done to solve our housing crisis.

The recording will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Wednesday 11 June at 20.02 BST.

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #wheretolive

This event is free and open to all with no ticket or pre-registration required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For any queries see LSE Events FAQ or contact us at events@lse.ac.uk 0207 955 6043. 

Media queries: please contact the Press Office if you would like to request a press seat or have a media query about this event, email LSE.Press.Events@lse.ac.uk. Please note that press seats are usually allocated at least 24 hours before each event.

From time to time there are changes to event details so we strongly recommend that if you plan to attend this event you check back on this listing on the day of the event


News Posted: 09 June 2014      [Back to the Top]

Book Launch, 27 March 2014
Changing Inequalities and Societal Impacts in Rich Countries: Thirty Countries' Experiences

An audio recording of the launch event can be found here

cover Increasing inequalities across some of the richest countries in the world are not inevitable according to findings from an international research project, which included a team of researchers from LSE. Published in two volumes, launched at LSE on 27 March 2014, the research shows that public policy plays a key role in shaping national inequalities even within a highly globalized set of rich countries. Information on inequality trends was gathered across 30 countries over the last 30 years.

Evidence of tax reforms across many of the countries reveals a trend towards lowering marginal tax rates for high earners, reductions in taxes on capital and capital income and removal or reductions in inheritance tax. This has been coupled with a reduction in the effectiveness of welfare states in ameliorating background inequality pressures.  This is despite attitudinal data which reveals that people in these countries expressed a dislike for inequality in their societies and believed that governments should do more to redistribute income or increase spending on programmes to enhance opportunity.   

The research also found that increases in inequalities have been accompanied by falling political participation with fewer people voting in political elections or actively engaging in politics, with much greater falls occurring among the least advantaged members of societies than the more privileged. 

Dr Abigail McKnight, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion| (CASE) at LSE, said: “Concern has been growing about increases in concentration of income and wealth among a small group of people and the relationship between this group and an emerging privileged political elite. This new evidence on inequality trends, political participation and evolving public policy is a concern for all democracies. The danger is that disenfranchised groups are left open to being drawn in by emerging minority political parties expressing narrow populist views
“In the UK we found that, over the period, voter turnout in UK general elections fell. The gap between voters in the Professional social class and those in the Unskilled social class widened from 10 percentage points in 1992 to 25 percentage points in 2005 with a similar gap found in the 2010 general election.”

Within the group of countries studied there were examples of stable income inequality, including Belgium and Southern European countries. Even though the general trend was upwards, the timing of increases was variable and in some countries there were even periods where inequality fell.
The central and eastern European countries –  transforming from Soviet-led economies to free market economies –  tended to experience large increases in inequality but some navigated the path better than others. This partly reflects the diverse nature of this group of countries and the role of public policy. These countries appear to have polarised into a relatively high inequality grouping (including Latvia, Bulgaria and Lithuania) and a relatively low inequality grouping (including Slovenia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic).

The research also examined evidence on the impact of inequality on a wide variety of social, cultural and political factors. Some previous research has suggested that inequality is associated with a range of ‘social ills’. Here the evidence was more mixed and while some areas seem to show a clear relationship with inequality –  for example, political engagement, attitudes, some types of crime and imprisonment – this was not evident in others, for example, marriage and divorce, economic stress, life expectancy, overall crime rates. Individuals’ outcomes were often found to be more strongly influenced by wider social change, such as family configuration, and technological advances, such as health and crime, and policy played an important role in weakening the link between inequality, opportunity and outcomes. What did emerge was that in a number of areas income inequality cast a shadow by increasing social gradients (the gaps between the least and most advantaged) in, for example, political engagement, health and social mobility.

The project ‘Growing Inequalities’ Impacts’| (GINI) was funded through the EU FP7 research programme (February 2010 – July 2013)  . The London School of Economics was one of six core country partners (Belgium, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, UK) led by Wiemer Salverda at the University of Amsterdam. This study involved over 200 researchers and analysed data for 30 countries (all 27 EU countries except Malta and Cyprus plus Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea and the US) covering a period of over 30 years. The project produced country reports covering all 30 countries, around 100 discussion papers, policy papers, reviews and reports, all of which contributed to the two OUP volumes.

Changing Inequalities in Rich Countries: Analytical and Comparative Perspectives| Editors: Wiemer Salverda, Brian Nolan, Daniele Checchi, Ive Marx, Abigail McKnight, István György Tóth and Herman van de Werfhorst, Oxford University Press

Changing Inequalities and Societal Impacts in Rich Countries: Thirty Countries' Experiences|
Editors: Brian Nolan, Wiemer Salverda, Daniele Checchi, Ive Marx, Abigail McKnight, István György Tóth and Herman van de Werfhorst, Oxford University Press 

To mark the launch, Oxford University Press have agreed to offer a 30% discount on book sales at the event or ordered online (details here).

 

 


News Posted: 19 March 2014      [Back to the Top]

Book Launch
All that is Solid: The Great Housing Disaster by Danny Dorling

Tuesday 18th March 2014, 6.30-8.00pm
 
A ground-breaking examination of the UK’s dangerous relationship with the housing market, and how easily it could, will, come crashing down

From “generation rent” to rising homelessness, the government’s Help to Buy scheme to the proposed “mansion tax”, and negative equity to the recent sell-off of a London council house for £3million, housing is the one issue that affects us all.
 
Housing was at the heart of the financial collapse, and in this ground-breaking new book, Danny Dorling argues that housing is the defining issue of our times.
 
Tracing how we got to our current crisis and how housing has come to reflect class and wealth in Britain, All That Is Solid radically shows that the solution to our problems - rising homelessness, a generation priced out of home ownership - is not, as is widely assumed, building more homes. Inequality, he argues, is what we really need to overcome.
 
Danny Dorling, Halford Mackinder Professor in Geography at the University of Oxford, will launch his new book All that is Solid: The Great Housing Disaster in a joint LSE Housing and Communities and CASE event at LSE on Tuesday 18th March (6.30-8.00pm) in TW1.G.01, Ground Floor, Tower One, Clements Passage, London WC2A 2AZ. This event is free but booking is essential. To request a seat for this event, please email lsehousingandcommunities@lse.ac.uk or telephone 020 7955 6330.

“Dorling is that rare university professor: expert, politically engaged and able to explain simply why his subject matters. He describes modern Britain as the most unequal society since Dickens's times, and picks apart the orthodoxies that allow such unfairness.”                                                                     
Martin Wainwright, the Guardian

Danny Dorling: All that is Solid: The Great Housing Disaster
London: Allen Lane
Hardback £20.00 ISBN 9781846147159
E-book also available
Published on 27th February 2014
To order this book please see:
www.penguin.co.uk

News Posted: 18 March 2014      [Back to the Top]

CASE Book Launch
An Equal Start? Providing Quality Early Education and Care for Disadvantaged Children

Wednesday 19th February 2014 4.30pm - 6.00pm followed by an informal reception

London School of Economics, Room 1.04. 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields, WC2A 3PH (Map and directions)

Presentations from the editors Ludovica Gambaro and Kitty Stewart. Jane Waldfogel will join via video link.

Discussants:

  • Vidhya Alakeson, Resolution Foundation
  • Leon Feinstein, Early Intervention Foundation.

Chair:

  • Howard Glennerster, Emeritus Professor, LSE


This presentation marks the launch of the book 'An Equal Start? Providing Quality Early Education and Care for Disadvantaged Children', published by Policy Press, edited by Ludovica Gambaro, Kitty Stewart and Jane Waldfogel. The book examines how the UK and seven other OECD countries manage the provision of early education and care, and focuses in particular on the way that funding and regulation mechanisms operate to ensure that disadvantaged children access high quality provision. The study looks at countries where the private and voluntary sectors are involved in delivery of early education and care and asks whether experience elsewhere offers potential lessons for the UK. The countries included are: Australia, France, Germany, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, and the US.

This work was part of a larger project generously funded by the Nuffield Foundation and carried out in conjunction with Daycare Trust (now Family and Childcare Trust)

To book a place please click here
News Posted: 19 February 2014      [Back to the Top]

GINI project
Publication of research findings

Changing Inequalities and Societal Impacts in Rich Countries

Edited by Wiemer Salverda, Brian Nolan, Daniele Checchi, Ive Marx, Abigail McKnight, István György Tóth, and Herman G. van de Werfhorst
 

The GINI project reached its conclusion following three and a half years of collaborative research into changing inequalities in 30 countries. The project looks at the long-term impacts of inequalities on social, political, cultural and economic aspects of life Two volumes based on the findings have just been published by Oxford University Press. Details of the launch event to follow soon. Further information can be found on the The GINI website
 

Volume one: Changing Inequalities in Rich Countries: Analytical and Comparative Perspectives

This volume investigates inequality trends in income, wealth, education, and the labour market, providing detailed information on inequality experiences across 30 countries examining trends over 30 years.  The research combines statistically sophisticated comparative analysis with evidence from individual countries' experiences to examine the relationship between changes in inequality and societal, cultural and political outcomes. This is followed by an assessment of the policy response across countries.
 

 

Volume two: Changing Inequalities and Societal Impacts in Rich Countries: Thirty Countries' Experiences

The second volume applies a consistent analytical framework across 30 different countries examining trends over 30 years, providing detailed background and information about inequality experiences and impacts in individual countries.  These case-studies bring out the variety of country experiences and the importance of framing inequality trends in the institutional and policy context of each country.


News Posted: 12 February 2014      [Back to the Top]

LSE and Trafford Hall Housing Plus Think Tank:
Welfare Reform and Tenants' Experiences

Monday 3rd – Tuesday 4th March 2014

Trafford Hall, near Chester

Housing Plus is about social landlords adopting a wider role in communities where they are based. The bedroom tax, benefit caps and other welfare reforms are having a dramatic impact on the lives of social housing tenants, particularly those under 60. Landlords face big challenges in helping their tenants and collecting rents which pay for housing services.

This is the second special Think Tank for social housing tenants and it is important for tenant voices to be heard, and their experiences are shared. We want to gather real evidence from the ground and share it widely. We are interested in discovering who are the most vulnerable and worst affected tenants, whether there is more that can be done, whether landlords are developing better access routes and more support for tenants as a result of the pressures of welfare reform, and also whether welfare reform is being properly connected to work and job opportunities.

Download (pdf)

The full event programme


News Posted: 07 February 2014      [Back to the Top]

Social Policy in a Cold Climate Event -
Education Policy, Equity and Social Mobility - last few places available to book



Date: Thursday 23rd January 2014, 2.00pm to 5.00pm

Venue: London School of Economics, Old Building room OLD3.21

Suggested Twitter hashtag #EdSocMob

The programme is available here

All major political parties are now committed to reducing educational inequalities. What can they really hope to achieve, and how? To what extent will closing educational attainment gaps in schools contribute to greater social mobility in the future?

This event will present findings from three important research studies by leading education economists and sociologists, followed by comments from policy-makers and practitioners and a debate from the floor. The event is free and open to all, early booking is recommended.

Speakers:

  • Geoff Whitty (Institute of Education) and Jake Anders
    (Institute of Education)
    (How) did New Labour narrow the achievement and participation gap?

  • Claire Crawford (Institute for Fiscal Studies) Socio-economic gaps in HE participation and outcomes

  • Jo Blanden (University of Surrey) and Lindsey Macmillan (Institute of Education)
    Education and Intergenerational Mobility: Help or Hindrance?

Respondents:

  • Tessa Stone, The Brightside Trust
  • Sir Alan Steer, Retired secondary head and government adviser 2004-10
  • Graeme Cooke, IPPR

This event is now fully booked.

Presentations and papers from this event are available here


News Posted: 23 January 2014      [Back to the Top]